Shaun Atwal was walking home on New Year’s Day 2021 when he slipped and fell on an icy street.
The 27-year-old could have never imagined that his X-ray and further tests would reveal something far more sinister than a broken bone.
Shaun was given the “devastating” diagnosis of osteosarcoma, which describes a rare form of bone cancer which typically affects children, adolescents, and young adults.
The NHS explains that this type of cancer is often discovered when a bone that has been weakened by cancer breaks after a person has had a minor fall or accident, just like in Shaun’s case.
This is because symptoms of osteosarcoma don’t instantly make your mind wander to cancer, as the tell-tale sign is pain in the affected bone.
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The health service explains that this pain may initially come and go, and then gradually become more severe and constant.
After the diagnosis, Shaun’s illness forced him to leave his work at a call centre when the cancer started to spread to his lungs.
His sister, Luvleen, shared the family was “shocked out of this world” after receiving the heart-breaking news.
She told GlasgowLive: “It’s not something we expected for someone as young as he was to be diagnosed with cancer from a broken arm.
“No one in our family has had cancer before and our lives changed. He was in hospital, not able to see his friends or go out, his social life took a massive hit.”
Shaun had to undergo chemotherapy and a 12-hour long operation to remove the cancerous bone, which was replaced with metal.
After another round of chemo after the surgery, the treatment appeared to be remarkably successful and Shaun was in remission for seven months.
Luvleen and her brother even went on a holiday to Portugal together.
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But during the holiday, Shaun began to experience crippling pains in his back.
Sadly, a scan revealed that his cancer had come back when he returned home.
This time it had spread to his spine and left him with numbness around one of his legs. Doctors have said the cancer is no longer curable, and can only be treated.
Luvleen added: “It’s only now that he has relapsed that it is starting to affect him a bit more. I don’t have the words, it’s just devastating.
“I am like his mum and big sister and it’s awful to see him ill. His life is either being stuck at home or being in hospital. He should be out enjoying himself.”
However, Shaun’s family have found alternative immunotherapy treatment in Japan which they hope will help give him the best possible chance to be “free of this disease” and set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds.
Luvleen said: “It would mean everything to get him this treatment. There’s been a flood of donations coming in already and it means so much. There’s so much love out there for him.
“I can’t thank people enough for their support. They have no idea how much this means to us.”
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